The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre

About the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre on UBC's Vancouver Campus

This UBC Library-led program is run out of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Our Learning Centre celebrated its grand opening in April 2008, is dedicated to lifelong learning for users at BC and beyond. In 2002, Dr. Irving K. Barber donated more than $20 million for the construction of the Learning Centre at UBC. The B.C. government contributed $10 million, and UBC provided the balance of funding. Located at UBC’s Vancouver campus, the innovative Learning Centre is built around the refurbished core of the 1925 UBC Main Library, one of the first buildings constructed on the UBC campus. It offers 250,000 square feet of new and renovated space that supports learning and research for users at UBC, throughout the province and beyond. The Learning Centre is a gateway to UBC Library, the province’s largest academic library. It also includes UBC’s School for Library and Archival Science, along with UBC programs that have pioneered interdisciplinary learning for undergraduates, including Arts One, Science One and the Coordinated Arts and Coordinated Science programs. We do not have a physical program space in the Learning Centre but can answer questions via the Contact Us form here

UBC Library's Community Engagement and Partnerships Unit

Community engagement is a key commitment of the Learning Centre, and of UBC. The Small Business Accelerator, which focuses on assisting small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout British Columbia, is an excellent example of how the Learning Centre is working to achieve its community engagement objectives. You can learn more about all of our community engagement initiatives at

At the Learning Centre, we know that engagement with community transforms service development, learning and research – it creates commonality, sparks debate, inspires inquiry, encourages contemplation, fosters relevance and advances excellence. Our team is dedicated to fulfilling UBC’s commitment and the Learning Centre’s inspiring mission in ways that make sense to the community, respects community expertise and provide value to community priorities. 

In 2009 the Director of the Learning Centre and the Community Engagement Librarian traveled to five cities across BC to consult widely about the various communities' needs for secondary market research. Our existing information services emerged from those important discussions, and we are grateful for the many colleagues and organizations that inform our work and continue to work with us today.